Clare: Pike meets its match

A GREEDY pike who has survived being caught at least three times this summer has come to a sticky end after biting off more than it could chew.

The 32-inch-long fish, believed to have been hiding at the bottom of a lake at a west Suffolk fishery for the past 10 years before surfacing earlier this year, died while trying to swallow a carp weighing about 3lb.

David Walker, who owns Hermitage Fisheries in Clare, said he was alerted to the fish floating dead in the middle of the pond by one of the regular anglers.

Mr Walker, a farmer who has spent the past 15 years building the fisheries as a hobby, said he was absolutely “stunned” by what he found.

“I went down and I had to get the boat out to row out and see what it was and to my amazement it was this 12-and-a-half pound pike with this 3lb carp stuck down its throat,” he said.

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Bury St Edmunds Angling Association secretary David Plampin said it was a very unusual occurrence.

He added: “Pike have been known to eat ducklings and perhaps fish of up to 1�lbs but not anything of that size. Carp do get slow this time of year and it could have been unwell. Pike will usually lay there, wait for their prey to come past and then snap it – but that’s a huge fish for a pike to tackle.”

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Mr Walker said although pike could be “a bit of a menace” he was sorry to see this one go.

“I think it is very sad because I spoke to two fishermen today who had caught the pike and taken a picture of it because it was so big. It has obviously been content to eat smaller fish but as it has become braver, it also appears to have got greedier. I am really sorry that such a beautiful fish has now been lost.”

Mr Walker dug out the four fishing lakes at the Hermitage Fisheries by hand and planted a wildlife area with trees at the 20 acre site, which is open to the public. He had investigated getting a taxidermist to stuff the fish so it could be on display there, but at �25 an inch, for both fish, he decided against it.

“So after a couple of days I had to bury it,” he said.

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